FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A New Setting Gives Four Works of Art New Life in an Exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum
At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center
LOS ANGELES—From the time an object is made until the day it enters a museum’s collection, it may be displayed, used, and perceived in different ways. A new, long-term exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display, takes four objects from the Museum’s permanent collection and encourages visitors to sit down and spend time with them, offering the opportunity to examine them closely to understand how they were made and functioned, why they were collected, and how they have been displayed. Touch screen interactive displays will highlight and explain visual clues about the life of each object.
“Many of the objects in the Getty Museum’s permanent collection have fascinating stories,” said David Bomford, acting director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “By focusing on close engagement with a few selected works, The Life of Art encourages critical seeing and reveals the full lives of these objects and why they continue to be collected and cherished today.”
The four objects from the Getty’s permanent collection are: a silver fountain (France, 1661–1663), a lidded porcelain bowl (China or Japan and England late-1600s), a gilt-wood side chair (France, about 1735–1740), and a gilt-bronze wall light (France, 1756) .The exhibition gallery provides an inviting, comfortable setting where the works are presented at table height so that each can be seen easily at close range and in the round. Labels and the interactive programs will prompt visitors to examine these artworks carefully to look for makers’ marks or inscriptions, details of construction or assembly, and visual evidence of alteration or repair.
A fascinating example of Asian and European art combined in one object, the porcelain lidded bowl was made in China or Japan in the late-1600s and shipped to England soon after where the elaborate gilt-bronze handles and other ornamentation were added to make it fit into the grand decorative interiors of the time.
Off the floor and at eye-level, the gilt-wood side chair can be examined closely, revealing the carved wood details that speak to its style, and where and when it was made. The chair was made with easily removable cushions and visitors will see how the upholstery could be changed with the fashion.
Three Getty experts—in education, design, and curatorial—worked together to curate this unique exhibition. Jeffrey Weaver, associate curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts; Merritt Price, Design Manager; and Tannenbaum collaborated on The Life of Art from start to finish.
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